TechReady 1 - 2005: Day 3 - Clarry, TechReady Hunter!

Clarry had an early night last night, as he was presenting at TechReady today. He has been working on a new form of distributed computing using a custom modified version of Windows Server 2003 (he has access to all the code in Microsoft) running on specially built Amiga 500’s. I attended the session, mainly to get his press photos, but didn’t understand much.

Mario and I didn’t get to bed early though (much to Clarry’s disgust) as we were busy enjoying a cable TV show called “Dog, The Bounty Hunter”. This show is what can only be described as the perfect melody between wrestle mania and Dr. Phil. The main players are Dog, who is a bail bonds man who looks like the love child of Hulk Hogan and Deborah Harry, and his wife Beth, who is a testosterone charged bottle-blonde with a compressed-air perm. They chase down fugitives who have violated the terms of their paroles in Hawaii, and after catching them using extreme prejudice, they inflict even more depraved indifference on the captives with the most banal form of drug shop psychology. In the episode Mario and I were watching, Dog and Co. chased down a poor woman who had skipped bail, and caught her in a friends house. They load her in, but then her son runs out and wants to say goodbye. Dog grabs the kid and hugs him, then instructs his assistants to let the boy see his mother, in fact, Dog’s words where, “Let him see his momma”. He then tells the boy to call him at 7:30 as he has some odd jobs for the boy to do. Thanks Dog, what would the young man have done without your charity (by the way, I’m hooked on Dog, and will be getting cable when I get home so I can keep watching it!).

Anyway, I digress. Let me recap on the days event. I went to a bunch of sessions today, the two of most interest was one on VSTS and the other on Linux and Open Source Software by Bill Hilf.

The VSTS session was run by Eric Lee, Michael Leworthy, and the new addition to the VSTS crew, Sonal Pardeshi. As usual, Eric’s sessions are awesome, and I picked up some really cool tweaks to my own presentation. Lately, I’ve been getting a lot of requests from the punters to start drilling down into the different elements of VSTS, such as Test Driven Development, or Source Code Control, rather than just the 60 minute overview. So it was great to see the presentation today that drilled deep into the TDD aspect of VSTS. I had already been to Doug Neumann’s presentation on Source Code Control, and he had gone through all the features of SCC, so look out everyone, I’ll have some drill down sessions to present when I get back to Melbourne.

The second session was run by Bill Hilf, who runs our Linux Labs at Redmond (Building 17). I have to admit, I wasn’t sure what this session was going to be about. I mean, it’s no secret that like any other commercial organization, we focus on the competitive landscape and want to know as much as we can about non-Microsoft software to do our jobs better. I’m always skeptical though that these sessions are going to turn into a huge evangelical session with singing choirs and preachers doing cartwheels down the center aisle.
My personal interest though in all things non-Microsoft is really around having a fair conversation with developers. See, my whole purpose for existence at Microsoft is to evangelize to developers. What’s interesting though, is that we are not expected to evangelize .NET blindly, in fact, my involvement with the VSTSEclipse project was a classic example of this; that project is all about developers at large, not just Microsoft developers. So if I expect non-Microsoft developers to listen to me, and be open to my ideas and passions, then I should do the same.
So I really enjoyed Bill’s presentation, as it was completely emotionless (kind of like my local GP), and just covered what was going on in the Linux and OSS space. It was fair and balanced, and even had some great info on areas where Linux and OSS make sense over Microsoft, and vice versa. I won’t waffle on too much about the whole “Can’t we all just be friends” thing, as I’ve been known to frequently go sideways on that topic. So in the wise words of Dog, “Regulators, mount up!”?? (hmm, way too much bleach in that mans hair)